‘808s & Hot Sauce:’ The Rise of SoloCelo’s Rap Career

by Richard L. Figueroa / Staff Reporter

SoloCelo performing. Photo courtesy of Steven Nunez.

In August 2018, 20-year-old Marcelo Augustus Wright released his first project: a mixtape with 14 tracks which he dubbed “SoloCelo” after his stage name. Soon after, he began to work on the music video for his song “The Good Intro” alongside Reynaldo Borges, a 20-year-old videographer and the owner of Diamond Visuals, a music video production company. 

In order to make the video stand out to his audience, Wright decided to tattoo GOOD on the right side of his leg for a scene in the music video.

 “If I do it for real then people would know I’m for real,” said Wright. This was a way of showing his fanbase that he really was serious about a career as a rapper. 

“SoloCelo initially had a crazy idea of doing a scene at a tattoo shop. We choose his leg as the placement for the tattoo so he would be able to perform while being tattooed,” said Borges. 

Currently, Wright’s content has over one million streams across all music streaming services. He has twelve singles on SoundCloud, a mixtape and an EP under his belt. Most recently, Wright released “808s & Hot Sauce” in July, which pays homage to Kayne West’s album “808s & Heartbreak.” The EP is also a nod to Wright’s 17-year-old producer Ra Gordon, better known by his producer tag “Ra.” The title is also a nod to Ra’s original home state of Louisiana, where Louisiana Hot Sauce is mass produced. 

“Without him, I wouldn’t have the sound I have now,” said Wright. “He’s just so talented, I just pay so much respect to him and everything he’s done.” 

Wright and Gordon worked on the EP, a total of six songs, for about two months. 

“It was a very collaborative tape,” said Gordon. “Celo is like my brother, and this tape really shows what we can do together. When the next project drops, it’s going to be even greater.” The EP was released on Aug. 2, which is Gordon’s birthday, serving as a present for  him.

Wright is part of a collective based in Chicago called Exit The Premises (ETP). ETP started out in 2016 as a collective of online gamers who made videos on Youtube. When their channel began to gain recognition, they decided to make a music video that would serve as a channel trailer. 

“It was terrible, but people liked it. It made us realize we wanted to do music and take it a little more serious. We ditched the channel and made ETP,” said Wright. The channel was ultimately deleted, and in 2017 ETP released their first music video titled “Pressure”.

Before “808s and Hot Sauce” was released, Wright headlined his first show alongside the ETP collective. Titled “ETP: The Reunion,” the show took place on July 21 of this year at The Auxiliary Art Center.

“I didn’t do anything to prep for that show. The only thing I did was send in my set list and put up flyers. Hats off, mad respect and much love to my manager DeShawn Rivers who coordinated the whole thing,” said Wright, who also mentioned there were nearly 100 people in attendance.

Wright’s vision goes beyond being a rapper and entertainer with platinum songs. He also wants to be an actor. 

“I’d love to open up a studio or a production company. I love the process of making movies. I would love to have a building with my name on it, you know like… Solo Records,” said Wright. He said he would call his production company “Wright Works” where he would help in the production of making films. 

A music video is expected to be released for his song “Gucci Gabbana” from “808s & Hot Sauce.” For now he will be working on his first album, which is expected to be released sometime in 2020.

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